T-Mobile Loses iPhone Exclusivity To O2 And Vodafone In Germany
When the iPhone was launched back in 2007, Apple had inked several exclusive agreements with network operators across the world wherein the phone was sold only on these networks – locked.
But Apple has changed its strategy since then and inked more multi-carrier distribution agreements in countries like UK where it has been very successful.
It looks like Apple has decided to use this strategy even in Germany. T-Mobile is on the verge of losing its iPhone exclusivity in Germany as O2 and Vodafone have announced that they are also going to offer iPhone 4.
While no dates have been announced, both O2 and Vodafone are allowing users to register and express their interest in getting the iPhone on their network. This also signifies that the launch is just around the corner.
The news regarding exclusive rights for the iPhone is particularly important because Apple has in its April earnings conference call highlighted that Germany, Spain and the US were the last three major iPhone markets where they had exclusive carrier agreements. That however is no longer the case with Apple inking multi-carrier distribution agreements in Germany now, and earlier in Spain.
This leaves US as the only major market where the iPhone is still sold exclusively on AT&T's network. It is widely speculated that AT&T will lose its iPhone exclusivity to Verizon in early 2011.
Note that there are other countries too where Apple has an exclusive-carrier agreement. However, it seems Apple doesn’t consider them major markets because of the lack of sales volume in these countries compared to European countries and the US.
That said, do you think these carrier exclusive agreements should be completely done away with? Why can't we buy an iPhone and use it on any network we prefer? What do you think?